- A term introduced in or shortly before 1895 by the Austrian art historian Franz Wickhoff (18531909), a member of the Vienna School of Art History, to denote the use of pictorial techniques such as perspective and foreshortening with the aim of achieving a high degree of mimesis (i.e. imitation of the external world), and to thus fool the onlooker into believing that what is painted is real. A striking example of illusionist painting is the Panorama Mesdag, a huge cylindrical painting by the Dutch painter Hendrik Willem Mes-dag (1831-1915). The painting is set in a fake foreground consisting of sand and set props, and depicts the fisherman's village of Scheveningen, the sea, and the adjacent dunes. The termillusion-ism is also used to denote any doctrine that treats the material world as an "illusion of the senses. For an account of illusionism in the latter sense, see the entry Grand illusion argument. A third sense in which the term illusionism is used is to denote a set of tricks and techniques employed by stage magicians to suggest the performance of a miracle.ReferencesNinio, J. (2001). The science ofillusions.Trans-lated by Philip, F. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Noë, A., ed. (2002). Is the visual world a grand illusion? Thorverton: Imprint Academic.Von Hartel, W., Wickhoff, F., eds. (1895). Die Wiener Genesis. Beilage zum xv. undxvi. Bande des Jahrbuches der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses. Wien: F. Temsky
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.